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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



SAVOR Gemini Grill opens, 'Rick Bayless Day' and more
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 7621 times since Sun Mar 17, 2024
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—And I quote: I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal."—Groucho Marx

—Pop life: Don't forget my other Substack: "Pop-Eds: My takes on pop culture." Thank you so much to the people who've already subscribed. The latest entry (March 16) discusses Kevin Hart, Kate Middleton, Aaron Rodgers, "shrinkflation" and more. Subscribe to to get all my thoughts.

And now on to culinary items…

—Opening: Ballyhoo Hospitality has announced the opening of its tenth restaurant: Gemini Grill.

Anchoring the newly completed luxury residence tower concept One Chicago, 748 N. State St., Gemini Grill is inspired by Ballyhoo Hospitality's first spot, the Lincoln Park restaurant Gemini. Gemini Grill is a two-story space with everything from a racetrack bar to an outdoor courtyard. Also, the patio will be dog-friendly.

Gemini Grill is now serving lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; brunch and dinner service will be coming soon. Highlights from the opening menu include bigeye tuna crude, Greek panzanella salad, Korean fried-chicken and blackened grouper sandwiches, and hanger steak and fries (with chimichurri and roasted garlic aioli). See .

—Sky high: At the Willis Tower, Skydeck Chicago is offering a Saturday lunch package.

Elevate your lunch experience with a view at Skydeck and a meal served by the Willis Tower restaurant Kindling. Choose from the spot's Not a Smash Burger, Hearth Bowl and more to complete this unique Downtown Chicago Experience. It's available every Saturday ($60 each for adults, $45 each for youth tickets).

Also, you can experience dining atop the Willis Tower with Pie in The Sky. One of the highlights will be a three-course meal prepared by longtime Chicago spot Giordano's, featuring its iconic deep-dish pizza. It's a perfect event for special occasions or celebrations. To book, email or visit .

—It's official: Mayor Brandon Johnson announced that March 21 will be declared Rick Bayless Day throughout Chicago to celebrate the 37-year anniversary of Frontera Grill, 445 N. Clark St. The VIP celebration is sold out but general access (starting at 8:45 p.m.) is still available; visit this link for tickets.

"I've been living and breathing the restaurant industry my entire life—I started working at my family's restaurant at the age of 8—so when I first opened Frontera Grill with my wife, Deann, I dreamed of creating an institution that could stand the test of time and match my parents' 37-year run with the Hickory House in Oklahoma City," Bayless said in a statement. "We opened our doors on March 21, 1987, and I am both humbled and inspired to meet this milestone."

A celebratory dinner will take place on that day at 4:45 p.m.

—What's at "steak": Celebrity Chef Joe Flamm and Day Off Group will introduce a weekend brunch service at BLVD Steakhouse, 817 W. Lake St., starting Easter weekend (March 30-31).

Every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests can now enjoy steakhouse favorites alongside new dishes like a king crab Benedict, TK Chopped Salad and Maine lobster roll in the restaurant's covered atrium. The team will also debut a new beverage menu with brunch-forward cocktails and an expanded list of Champagne and rosé. Reservations can be made on OpenTable.

—Score!: Loads of sports bars will definitely have their high-def TVs tuned into the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments—starting with Selection Sunday on March 17.

Count the Third Coast Hospitality spots Moe's Cantina River North and Wrigleyville, Tree House Chicago and Old Crow Smokehouse among them. The restaurants will be open for the first and second rounds at 10:30 a.m., with the Sweet 16 games at 4 p.m., to start. (Elite Eight and Final Four schedules have not yet been revealed but you can consult their websites—, and, respectively—to find out what's happening.

Separately, spots such as Cody's Public House, 1658 W. Barry Ave., and The Graystone Tavern, 3441 N. Sheffield Ave., will have their own events and specials going. At Cody's, games will be broadcast on eight 65-inch TVs around the bar, for a total of 10 throughout the space. Specials will include $5 Miller Lite stadium cups, $6 Dobel Tequila, $6 Proper 12 Irish Whiskey, and $30 Surfside buckets. Regarding The Graystone, which has nine TVs, specials throughout the tournament will include $6 pizza puffs, $6 Stadium Nachos, $6 Dirty Monkey Shots, $6 Proper 12 and Proper 12 Apple shots, $6 Buzzer Beater Bombs, and $30 Stateside and Surfside buckets.

See and, respectively.

And Old Town Pour House—with locations in Chicago, Naperville and Oak Brook—will be featuring its special Final Fourange, a boozy orange crush cocktail crafted with Ketel One Oranje, triple sec and a mix of citrus flavors. Also, diners visiting during the event will receive a scratch-off ticket, offering them a shot at winning one of several prizes, such as gift cards and bar bites. See .

—Very Evolved: On Monday, April 22, The Evolved Network will hold a dinner at UVAE Kitchen & Wine Bar, 5553 N. Clark St., 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The Earth Day event will support the organization but will also celebrate the life of founder Chef Sebastian White's aunt, Gwen Barjon, who passed on April 22, 2020. White will design the five-course menu, and there will be wine pairings curated by UVAE owner, chef and sommelier Lindsey Anderson as well as dessert by "Team TEN" Sherlon Yates and Isaiah Scott.

Admission starts at $138 each. To reserve a spot, visit

Drop me a line (hot news, tips, etc.) at and I'll get back to you.

Also, please subscribe (free and paying options available) at . to get more news, reviews and interviews. Thanks!

Note: No reproduction of this column is permitted under any circumstances without express prior written permission.

This article shared 7621 times since Sun Mar 17, 2024
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